Tag Archives: training

National 4-H STEM update

4-H National Youth Science Day is right around the corner! Make sure you have finalized your plan for how your 4-H’ers will be participating in this year’s 4-H NYSD experiment, Motion Commotion, to learn about physics, speed, and safety.

We want to hear what you are doing, so please register your event as soon as possible. This not only helps you to receive valuable support and resources from the 4-H NYSD Community, it also helps National 4-H Council report back to sponsors on the success of NYSD. The more registered events and youth we have, the more funding we are able to get making the experiments better and more affordable for you!

National Youth Maker Summit – Nov. 6-9

Do you have youth who like to invent, build, or experiment? Do they ever catch themselves wondering how something can be improved? Have they ever taken something apart just to see how it works? The Maker National Youth Summit is for the creative and curious young minds of the next generation of innovators. Participants make what they can with a variety of materials from a range of fields, utilizing their resourcefulness and creativity.

National 4-H Curriculum and Learning – September 2015 update

National 4-H Curriculum focuses on positive youth development education through 4-H’s three primary mission mandates: science, healthy living, and citizenship. While curriculum and learning products are created by the land-grant universities, 4-H National Headquarters leads efforts related to quality standards, the peer review process, and evaluation strategies, and National 4-H Council leads efforts related to marketing and sales.

National 4-H Week Materials Available

This year’s National 4-H Week theme is “4-H GROWS Here,” and you can download flyers, posters and more now on the new 4-H Marketing Online Resource Center. Use these advertising materials to promote your program for National 4-H Week and beyond. For any questions please email Sarah Hunt at shunt@4-H.org.

4-H Science Professional Development Resources

There are many great 4-H Science professional development resources to help train 4-H educators and volunteers including recordings from the VEAR eConference. The VEAR eConference was developed to highlight the work of four programs that conducted pilot projects on the Volunteer Engagement and Activation Resources toolkit that was developed for 4-H educators. Four programs focused on models for corporate, workplace, teen, and episodic volunteerism in 4-H. These pilot programs agreed to participate in a process evaluation as they adapted the contents of the toolkit for use for their specific audience.

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Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit registration is open

In two months the Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit will begin in Richmond on Oct. 22 – 23. Registration is now open for the event. Last year’s summit in Lynchburg had some great speakers and networking / learning opportunities and we are expecting the same and we are expecting the same for Richmond too.

This year’s summit is planned to be an exciting one and will focus on two key areas: access and economics. There will be speakers from across Virginia as well as the U.S. Some speakers include Ben Greene, from the Farmery in North Carolina and Ben Flanner from Brooklyn Grange in New York.

Bobby Grisso has graciously approved funding for VCE agents to attend this event for both registration and hotel room. It is highly recommended that you room with another agent. Travel will come out of your travel funds. Special instructions about registration will be below.

Note: The Fall District Conferences will be held that week. If your conference is on the 22 or 23 and you attend the VUAS, you will be expected to attend another district’s conference. Two options include Southeast (Oct. 19) and Northern (Oct. 20).

For more information and to register, please complete the online form

To register – Fill out the appropriate information.

Select “CHECK” as the payment method

There is a block for roommate request and it is listed in the following section –  “Special dietary and other needs.”  Please use this section to enter in your request. 

Thank you to Bobby for his generosity and to you for your time.  Look forward to seeing you there.

Kevin F. Camm
Extension Agent

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Communicate to Connect: Communications and marketing training

Communicate to Connect is a monthly webinar series presented jointly by Virginia Cooperative Extension and North Carolina Cooperative Extension designed to cover communications and marketing fundamentals that will help you to become a better communicator and to connect with those in your community.

Each month experts will engage participants in a one-hour webinar ­ 30 minutes for instruction and 30 minutes for questions ­ on a specific communication/marketing topic. Whether you are new to Extension or a seasoned professional, we hope you will join us for a monthly communications “tune-up.”

This professional development opportunity is open to all CALS and VCE faculty and staff members.

The next webinar topic will be Telling Your Story to Local Government and is scheduled for Thursday, May 14 at 11 a.m. A panel of Extension agents from North Carolina and Virginia will be presenting tips for communicating and working with government officials and stakeholders.

To join the webinar, please register online at https://vce.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0cZMUk2OgQG4r7T. The session link and connect instructions will be provided before the session.

Please visit the marketing training page on the VCE Intranet for more details.

If you have any questions for suggestions for future topics, please contact Lori Greiner at lgreiner@vt.edu.

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Virginia Tech professors travel to Roanoke for special experiments

Virginia Tech researchers David Schmale and David Lally, working in conjunction with high school teachers Cindy Bohland and Michael Collver, have been funded by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment and Fralin Life Science Institute to develop an ethics education module to engage local high school students. This is one of a cluster of interdisciplinary projects recently developed in association with the ISCE Applied Ethics Initiative to examine ethical issues related to development of new autonomous vehicle technologies. Some potential uses of AVTs include driverless cars, unmanned aerial vehicles, and underwater and space exploration modules.

As one of Virginia Tech’s premier research investment institutes, the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment fosters and facilitates interdisciplinary research and creative efforts in the social sciences, humanities, and arts. To strengthen the university’s competitive position in the social sciences and humanities, ISCE provides organizational, technical, and financial support for targeted research and educational endeavors that address issues of social and individual transformation. Participants in ISCE’s Applied Ethics Initiative are involved interdisciplinary collaborations on topics with real-world ethical dimensions.

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CALS leaders embrace diversity training

As part of the college’s commitment to the university’s InclusiveVT initiative, leaders from around the college are taking a series of classes on diversity and inclusion with the ultimate goal of obtaining a Diversity Ally certificate.

“These classes are a great way for us to learn how to make our college more reflective of the society we serve and help recognize the unique viewpoints and skills we all bring to the university,” said Dean Alan Grant, who took part in one of the training sessions this month.

Diversity training

He was one of the many college leaders at the session, which was also attended by Roger Harris, head of the Department of Horticulture; Pete Schultz, director of the Hampton Roads AREC; Bobby Grisso, associate director of Virginia Cooperative Extension; Denny Gehrt, director of facilities, and others.

Associate deans, department heads, AREC directors, unit directors, associate directors, and others are all undergoing the training, which takes six classes to complete the certification. Leaders are then expected to share the class experience with their colleagues and engage in conversations about diversity and inclusion within their departments.

Everyone is encouraged to sign up for free courses on diversity and inclusion through the Diversity Development Institute.

The college has made a commitment to diversity and has four initiatives to enhance this mission, including leadership training and communication; civil rights training and compliance; inclusive teaching practices; and VCE Diversity and Inclusion fellows.

To learn more about the work the college’s Diversity Council is doing and how you can get involved, visit the group’s website.

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Packed houses at diversity and inclusion events

Faculty, staff, and students from across the Virginia Tech campus filled the seats at two recent diversity events in which the college was involved.

Student Emiy Blair (left) and Associate Professor Emily Satterwhite talk about Appalachian cultures at Virginia Tech.

Student Emiy Blair (left) and Associate Professor Emily Satterwhite talk about Appalachian cultures at Virginia Tech.

On March 18, Emily Satterwhite, an associate professor of Appalachian studies, spoke to a full audience about Appalachian cultures at the university and perceptions about and from students in the region. She was joined by Emily Blair, an English major and poet who grew up in Fort Chiswell, Virginia, who shared some of her thoughts on growing up in Appalachia and attending Virginia Tech.

The event was hosted by the College Diversity Council and was one of the Roundtable Discussions held once a semester.

There was a robust conversation following the presentation and audience members said the event was very intellectually stimulating.

Continue reading

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New horse owner certification series at the Virginia Horse Festival

Owning a horse can be an extremely rewarding experience, but the responsibility, financial investment, and time commitment required to properly care for a horse can become overwhelming. Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the Virginia Horse Industry Board are teaming up to offer an exciting Horse Owner Certification course to address the challenges and rewards of responsible horse ownership. The course is aimed at new or prospective horse owners, however certification is available to experienced horse owners, parents and anyone interested in the care and well-being of horses. The five educational seminars offered include the following topics:

  1. Facilities and land for horse ownership
  2. Feeding and nutrition for horses
  3. Horse healthcare and first aid
  4. Hoof care for horses
  5. Buying the right horse

When can you attend?

The certification series will be held on March 27-28, 2015 at the Virginia Horse Festival in Doswell, Virginia.

How do I get certified?

Certification requires successful completion of at least three of the five sessions held on Friday evening and throughout the day on Saturday. Participants will receive a certificate to display their accomplishment in addition to educational and promotional materials from sponsors and vendors.

How do I register?

Pre-registration is recommended by March 20, 2015. Please contact Bridgett McIntosh at 540-687-3521 to register. The course is being offered at no charge thanks to the generous support of the Virginia Horse Industry Board, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and our sponsors.

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Upcoming workshop: Energy Savings through Lean Thinking

An important component of cost in manufacturing, forestry, and agricultural activities is energy consumption. At Virginia Tech we realize that producers in the region have a great opportunity to decrease energy costs by understanding how lean thinking principles can be implemented along with best energy management practices.

The proposed workshop will introduce the concepts of lean thinking, value stream mapping, data mining, and energy management systems. The methodology includes presentations, kaizen blitz, and individual work to develop basic skills in energy management and decision making.


  • Introduction to lean manufacturing. How is lean manufacturing related to energy savings?
  • Value stream mapping (VSM)
  • Incorporation of energy consumption into VSM
  • Data mining for energy consumption
  • Using energy management systems for decision making

The registration fee is $25 and includes materials, coffee breaks, and lunch. Please download the registration form and submit it as soon as possible!

The workshop will be held in Marion, Virginia, on Nov. 20.

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Call for proposals for 2015 Multistate Family Nutrition Program conference

The Virginia Cooperative Extension Family Nutrition Program will be hosting the 2015 Multistate Conference on May 5-8, 2015 at Hotel Roanoke. We are extending a call for proposals for session presentations at this conference. Attendees include more than 250 nutrition program assistants, educators and outreach instructors who provide education to thousands of limited resource adult and youth participants every year on the topics of nutrition, food safety, resource management, and physical activity. This year’s conference features four focus areas: physical activity; nutrition and foods; personal well being; and partnering and communities. If you have questions concerning the focus areas, please contact the specific chair:

The deadline for submission is Oct. 3, 2014. To submit a proposal, please complete this survey.

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Upcoming workshop: Succession Solutions for Farm Families

Virginia Cooperative Extension presents Succession Solutions for Farm Families on Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Staunton Holiday Inn.

A succession plan is far more than a binder full of legal documents and a life insurance policy. It’s founded on common goals and shared dreams. It ensures a smooth transition, the family’s financial security, and a well-prepared next generation.

In this workshop, Kevin Spafford will teach the five keys to planning success:

  • Planning process
  • Overcome obstacles
  • Common objectives
  • Good communication
  • Commitment

To register, please call Jeremy Daubert at the Rockingham County Extension Office at 540-564-3080.

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